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Businesses need more planning when turning fruit into alcohol

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Agricultural Law, Land Use, Environmental Law

Washington has the perfect climate for growing many kinds of fruit, and agriculture remains a major contributor to the overall state economy. Wheat, apples, cherries and onions are some of the top crops in the state, and they can be a solid source of revenue.

Of course, some years the weather combines with more pests to reduce production levels. Other years, blights spread, forcing farmers to burn whole sections of their land. Diversifying on the farm is a way to protect against devastation following a bad harvest or failed crop.

Some agricultural businesses want to do more than just produce certain crops to diversify. They want to add value to those crops to maximize the profits yielded for their harvest. Converting a vineyard into a winery or an orchard into a cidery could be a way to make more profit from a previously struggling agricultural operation. However, farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs who want to turn fruit into alcohol will need to plan more carefully than those who simply want to grow a crop.

State licensing is necessary to make alcohol for sale

If you intend to sell your alcohol even to a few dozen other people, you will need a license issued by the state of Washington. There are also insurance considerations, as people could become sickened by contaminated or improperly fermented alcoholic beverages.

Following the proper procedure is crucial, as the cost could be astronomical if a business starts operating without the proper insurance and licensing in place. Not only could you have to pay fines and penalties, but you could face lawsuits that come after the business’s assets or yours as the company’s owner.

Alcohol production is a dangerous business

It is easy to get so swept up in the excitement of a new business concept that you overlook all of the risks involved. From the increased likelihood of thieves targeting your agricultural facilities the potential for chemical spills and machinery malfunctions, there are countless issues that can arise when making wine, cider or other fruit-based alcoholic beverages.

You may need to change the way you hold the business to better protect yourself from liability in addition to learning about state law and complying carefully. Exploring your business concept in depth and making the right plans ahead of time can help you turn your agricultural enterprise into a successful alcohol-producing business.